Can improved CAT Scan equipment improve North Carolina Workers’ Compensation treatments?

February 9, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Does the quality of the CAT Scan used on patients impact treatment outcome and cost? The answer may have significant relevance to North Carolina Workers’ Compensation cases. Consider this argument:

Many CAT Scan technologies in use in hospitals throughout North Carolina were developed in the 1990s and 1980s. When you compare these technologies to emerging CAT Scan equipment (such as the Siemens Somatom Definition Flash), real and potential significant differences emerge. A patient who gets a CAT Scan from an old piece of equipment may receive a fundamentally different diagnosis than a patient who gets analyzed using one of the newer machines!

For instance, on the newer machines, such as the Definition Flash, patients can be scanned in half a heartbeat and need not take beta blockers prior to the scan. These minor differences could be important; when you extrapolate the implications over the entire patient population of United States, we could be looking at potentially millions of dollars a year in patient/doctor savings.

Of course, whenever one does a cost benefit analysis of a new medical technology, we must remember the law of unintended consequence. Adding new machines to hospitals that provide more trustworthy analyses could lead physicians to trust their intuitions less and rely on machines more, for instance. This could lead to doctors ignoring smart intuitions – thus, putting some patients in dange. Furthermore, more accurate imaging technology could lead to more false positives and thus to more unnecessary treatments.

These kinds of concerns must be addressed whenever we debate improvements in North Carolina Workers’ Compensation policy. A policy solution may, at first blush, appear to have no downsides. But the execution of the solution can open a Pandoras Box of problems.

One famous, if peripheral, example of this kind of nasty surprise comes from ecology. In the middle of the 1900s, a Caribbean island was besieged a rat infestation. So the government literally parachuted cats onto the island to eat the rats. But the once the rats were eaten, this severely disrupted the island food chain and created an ecological catastrophe.

To mitigate against the dangers of unforeseen consequences associated with your North Carolina Workers’ Compensation claim, discuss your concerns with quality North Carolina Workers’ Compensation attorneys today.

More Web Resources:

CAT Scan

Siemens Somatom Definition Flash


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